Top 20+ World's Best Fairy Tales (Full Text) Must Read For Kids Every Night
World's Best Fairy Tales (Full Text)

Fairy tales for kids often have hidden moral messages while they take your child on a trip to fantasy land. These stories may seem all about magic, but they may become effective tools in instilling the virtues of kindness and mercy in children.

If your child is fascinated by fairy tales, you may want to read out some stories during their bedtime or when at leisure. This post brings you a collection of interesting fairy tales to make your child happy.

Although the classic fairy tales might seem a little dated at times, they still have that magic that modern children books seem to lack. Here are the 20+ world’s best fairy tales to entertain your kids.

What is fairy tale?

A fairy tale, fairytale, wonder tale, magic tale, fairy story or Märchen is an instance of European folklore genre that takes the form of a short story. Such stories typically feature mythical entities such as dwarfs, dragons, elves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, griffins, mermaids, talking animals, trolls, unicorns, or witches, and usually magic or enchantments. In most cultures, there is no clear line separating myth from folk or fairy tale; all these together form the literature of preliterate societies. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicit moral tales, including beast fables.

In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy-tale ending" (a happy ending) or "fairy-tale romance". Colloquially, the term "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale; it is used especially of any story that not only is not true, but could not possibly be true. Legends are perceived as real within their culture; fairy tales may merge into legends, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike legends and epics, fairy tales usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and to actual places, people, and events; they take place "once upon a time" rather than in actual times.

Fairy tales occur both in oral and in literary form; the name "fairy tale" ("conte de fées" in French) was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy in the late 17th century. Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace because only the literary forms can survive. Still, according to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon, such stories may date back thousands of years, some to the Bronze Age. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today.

Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. The Aarne-Thompson classification system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp are among the most notable. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.

Understanding the History of Fairy Tales

In order to understand the history of fairy tales, readers need to be aware of for whom original fairy tales were really written. While today parents love relating their favorite fairy tales to their own children, the dark and often gruesome plot lines of the original stories were intended for adult audiences, not youngsters.

Many of the fairy tales that are repeated today date back to the 17th century and earlier. As these tales were passed down from one century to the next, they were often altered to remove some of the more ghastly and frightening elements and to make them more appropriate for a younger audience.

The term "fairy" was thought to have been taken from the French "contes des fee", and many of the fairy tales we read today are based on tales from French literature which often featured the ethereal creatures. In fact, Charles Perrault, a well-known writer of fairy tales, often wrote his stories to be presented at the court of Versailles, and these typically featured fairies as well as a moralistic theme.

While writers like the Grimm Brothers, who collected German tales, Perrault, and often Hans Christian Anderson are often the first authors named when discussing the history of fairy tales, their origin goes back much further than the 17th century, and many of these stories are actually just retellings of age-old tales, many created by women and retold throughout history.

Women and the Fairy Tale

Women typically created fairy tales with a distinct purpose in mind-to protest the societal constraints that were placed upon them and to emphasis their own rights as women in a man's world. Women like the Countess d"Aulnoy and the Contess de Murat struck back at the misery of their marriages by creating and telling fairy tales that didn't always feature happy endings. Countess de Murat in particular appeared to enjoy shocking those who attended her informal gatherings at salons in Paris in which she would captivate her listeners with tales of marriage and other topics.

Throughout history, tales continued to be told and retold as women spent much of their time together, spinning, weaving, and sewing. In a world where women were expected to remain silent, their tales allowed them to create heroines that were strong and enabled them to pass on stories to their daughters and granddaughters that taught powerful lessons of conquering adversity and rewarding virtuousness.

Tracing History

How far back can the history of fairy tales be traced? Some people point to biblical times, citing their evidence in Paul's warning to women to refrain from idle gossip. While this may not indicate that fairy tales were told as such, it does lead historians to question when these fascinating tales stories began. What we do know is that many of the beloved stories of today can be traced back to original tales that have evolved and changed over time.

For example, there have been many different versions of Cinderella published and retold throughout the years, but the oldest version appears to date back to 860 CE (which is referred to as the Common Era) in China. While some of the characters are distinctly different from the frequently told story of today, there is a definite commonality between the ancient Chinese version and today's tale.


While the elusiveness of the true beginning of fairy tales makes documenting a historical timeline difficult, the mystical quality of these stories will continue to enthrall listeners of all ages for generations to come.

What are the 20+ best fairy tales kids should read before bed?

1. The Little Girl and the Winter Whirlwinds

Photo: MomJunction
Photo: MomJunction

One year, the wicked Winter Witch decides that earth can have only one season and stops spring from coming. The earth gets covered in heavy snow and the sun is covered behind black clouds.

People from a tiny village in the mountains of Bulgaria wake up to see their houses covered with snow up to the roof. They dig tunnels to reach their neighbors and discuss any possible solutions for this problem. They decide to ask for help from Father Frost, who lived on the icy peak of the mountains.

An old man among the villagers says he can go but is afraid if he can make it in time. His granddaughter asks him not to worry and offers to go herself. The villagers discourage her as they are worried the little girl is too delicate to climb up the challenging icy mountain peaks.

“I’m not afraid,” the little girl says, “My feet are strong and I’m as fast as a mountain goat.”

Children from the village lend their warm clothes to the young girl and she embarks on the tough journey. Blizzards, whirlwinds and Winter Witch throw several challenges at the little girl and threaten to kill her. But little mice, squirrels, and rabbits come to her rescue and help the little girl reach Father Frost.

In his palace, Father Frost is sleeping peacefully and the little girl wakes him up to explain the situation. Father Frost blows his whistle and a crystal ball appears; in the ball, he sees everything that had happened around him. He punishes the Wicked Witch and brings everything back to normal. Villagers are happy and proud of the young girl as the sun starts shining again.

2. Thumbelina

Photo: Fox Family Entertainment
Photo: Fox Family Entertainment

In a faraway village lived a peasant and his wife. When a beggarwoman comes seeking food, the peasant’s wife offers her food. The beggarwoman gives her a barleycorn in return. The wife plants the barleycorn and surprisingly a tiny girl named Thumbelina emerges from the sprouted flower.

One night, when Thumbelina is fast asleep in her cradle, she is carried off by a cruel toad to marry her off to her son.

A friendly fish and butterfly help Thumbelina to escape the toad and her son. But her struggles don’t end. A beetle stag captures her but throws her away when his friends don’t like Thumbelina’s company.

An old mouse gives her shelter but insists her to marry the neighbor, a mole. Thumbelina does not like the mole because he stays insides and never comes out to enjoy the light and air. She runs away from the mouse’s home and escapes to a faraway land.

In a sunny flower field, she meets a tiny flower fairy prince who is her size and starts liking him. They marry each other and after the wedding she gets a pair of wings. She starts flying with her husband from one flower to another.

3. The Ugly Duckling

Photo: Fahasa
Photo: Fahasa

On a farm long ago, a Mama Duck sat on her nest. “How long must I wait for my babies to hatch?” she said. “I have to sit here all alone! And no one comes to visit me.” But what could she do? A Mama duck must keep her eggs warm till they hatch.

At last, the eggs began to crack. One by one, yellow ducklings stepped out of their shells. They shook their wings and said, “Quack, quack!”

“Look at all of you!” said Mama Duck with joy. “You are all so cute!”

“Quack, quack!” they said.

Mama Duck said, “Come and line up. We will go down to the lake for your very first swim.” She counted – one, two, three, four, five. “Oh dear!” she said. “I should have six ducklings!”

But one large egg was still in the nest. “Well," said Mama Duck, "it looks like that big egg will take more time.” So she had to go sit on her nest again and wait some more.

The next day, the big egg started to hatch. Out came a baby boy bird. But if one may say so, it was an odd-looking thing. This bird was much bigger than others. He was not yellow at all - he was dark-gray from his head to his feet. And he walked with a funny wobble.

One of the yellow ducklings pointed. “What is THAT? He cannot be one of us!”

“I have never seen such an ugly duckling!” said another.

“How can you say such a thing?” said Mama Duck in a stern voice. “You are only one day old! Your brother hatched from the very same nest as you did. Now line up. We will go to the lake for your very first swim.”

Yet the other ducklings quacked, “Ugly! Ugly! Ugly!” The Ugly Duckling did not know why the other ducklings were yelling at him. He took the last spot in the line.

Each yellow duck jumped in the river and swam behind Mama Duck. When it was his turn, the Ugly Duckling jumped in and started to paddle, too. “At least he can swim,” Mama Duck said to herself.

When they left the water and started to play, the Ugly Duckling tried to play with his brothers and sisters, too. They yelled, “Go away! We will not play with you! You are ugly. And you walk weird, too!”

When Mama Duck was close by, she would not let them talk in this way. “Be nice!” she would scold. But she was not always close by.

One day, one of the yellow ducklings said to the Ugly Duckling, “You know what? You would do us a big favor if you just went away from here!” All of them started to quack, “Get out! Get out! Get out!”

“Why won’t they let me stay here?” said the Ugly Duckling to himself. He hung his head down low. “Ah, they are right. I should go.”

That night, the Ugly Duckling flew over the farmyard fence. He flew till he landed on the other side of the lake. There he met two grown-up ducks.

“Can I please stay here for awhile?” said the Ugly Duckling. “I have nowhere else to be.”

“What do we care?” said one of the ducks. “Just don’t get in our way.”

“Woof! Woof!” Suddenly a big hungry dog came tearing by, chasing the two ducks. They quickly flew up in the air, and their feathers fell down on the ground. The poor Ugly Duckling froze in fear. The dog sniffed and sniffed at the Ugly Duckling, then turned away. “I am too ugly even for the big hungry dog to want,” said the Ugly Duckling with his head hung low.

The sky turned dark. Crack! A bolt of lightning. Then came a big storm, with heavy rains pouring down from the sky. In just moments, the Ugly Duckling was soaked through and through. Then a cold wind started to blow.

“Brrr!” he said with both wings held close to his chest. “If only there was a place I could get dry.”

All at once, a tiny light blinked far off in the woods. “Could it be someone’s hut?”

He flew to the door. “Quack?” said the Ugly Duckling. The door of the hut creaked open.

“What is all this noise?” said an old woman, looking right and left. Her eyes were not that good. Then she looked down. “Ah, look at that, it’s a duck!” She picked up the Ugly Duckling and dropped him inside her hut. “You can stay here, but only if you lay eggs,” she said.

A tomcat and hen crept up to the Ugly Duckling. “Who do you think you are, coming in here and taking up room by the fire!” said the tomcat.

“Squawk!” said the hen. “I do not need anyone else in this hut laying eggs.”

“Do not worry about that,” said the Ugly Duckling. “I am a boy duck.”

“Then why are you still here?” said the tomcat. “Did you not hear what the old woman said?”

“Get out of here, pretender!” clucked the hen.

“Get out! Get out!“ hissed the tomcat.

The door was still a bit open, so our poor Ugly Duckling slipped out the door, and back into the storm.

“No one ever wants me,” said the Ugly Duckling with a tear in his eye.

The storm ended. Soon he found a new lake. Looking into the water, the Ugly Duckling saw the reflection of a flock of large white birds flying. He looked overhead and could not believe what he saw. There, above him, were the most beautiful birds he had ever seen! Their long white bodies and slender necks seemed to just glide through the sky. He watched until the very last bird had winged its way out of view.

He stayed at that lake all by himself, and time passed. The leaves of the trees turned deep red and gold, and then the leaves fell to the ground. Winter came, setting a blanket of white snow all over. The cold wind and the dark clouds made the Ugly Duckling feel even more sad.

He had to go into the cold, cold lake to fish, but it was getting harder to swim. The lake was turning to ice. One day, it was all he could do was to paddle the water to keep it from freezing around him, and trapping him in the lake.

“I am so tired!” he said, paddling with all his might. The ice got thicker and drew closer to him.

In a moment, two giant hands swept him up. “You poor thing!” said a farmer. He held the Ugly Duckling close to his thick wool jacket and took the bird to his home.

Never was a warm fireplace more welcome! For the rest of the winter, the farmer cared for the Ugly Duckling. Then spring came. Tips of green covered the trees. Short, bright flowers popped up from the ground.

“It is time for you to go to the lake to swim again, as you were born to do,” said the farmer. He took the duckling back to the lake where he had found him, and set him with care on the water.

“Gosh, I feel strong,” said the young bird, flapping his wings. “Why, I never felt as strong as I do right now!”

He heard quiet splashing sounds behind him, and turned around. A flock of those same beautiful birds he had seen in the sky before landed behind him on the water.

“Do not worry!” he said to them, holding out one wing. “I will go now. I will not make trouble for you.” A big fat tear rolled down his cheek. He turned to go away. When he opened his eyes, he saw a reflection in the water of one of those beautiful white birds. Why was it so close to him? He jumped back. And the reflection jumped back, too.

“What is this?” he said. He stretched his neck, and the reflection of the beautiful bird stretched its neck, too.

“Why are you going so soon?” said one of the beautiful birds.

“Stay here, with us!” said another. “We’ll be great friends.”

Then, the bird who used to be the Ugly Duckling knew what had happened! He was no longer an ugly gray bird that wobbled when it walked.

At one moment, all the swans flapped their wings and took off into the sky. “Come with us,” one called back. “Take the lead!” So he flapped his wings fast and took his place in front of the whole flock. All his new friends flapped their wings behind him.

“Say!” he said, gliding and dipping through the sky as he sped on. “Who’s an ugly duckling now? Surely, Not I!”

The Ugly Duckling: Full Text Story, Video in English Version, Life Lessons

4. Cinderella

Top 20+ World's Best Fairy Tales (Full Text) Must Read For Kids Every Night
Circa 1830: Cinderella, having tried on the glass slipper, produces its fellow. Etching by George Cruikshank as an illustration for Grimm's "Aschenputtel." (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Cinderella is a beautiful and kind-hearted girl whose world turns upside down on the death of her beloved mother. Her father marries a wicked lady. The stepmother and the stepsisters are cruel to Cinderella, and treat her like a maid in the house.

One day, the king throws a royal ball and invites all the maidens in the kingdom as the prince would choose his bride. While the step sisters go to the ball dressed in fancy gowns, the stepmother tells Cinderella to stay at home and do the chores.

The beautiful Cinderella is depressed about not going when her fairy godmother appears and helps her dress up in the prettiest gown and crystal shoes. But the fairy tells her that she has to return by 12 after which the magic will be all gone.

The prince and Cinderella dance together all night but when the clock strikes 12, she leaves the party as per the instructions of the fairy godmother. Her glass shoe slips off her foot and is picked up by the prince.

Next day, the prince goes in search of the girl whose feet would fit perfectly in the crystal shoes. It does not fit any girl’s feet except Cinderella. The prince marries Cinderella and they live happily ever after.

Cinderella FairyTale: Full Text Story, Video in English Version, Life Lessons

5. Two Roosters

Photo: Fine Art America
Photo: Fine Art America

The story is about two chickens born to the same mother. When they grow up, they often quarrel with each other. Each one considers himself beautiful, majestic and has the right to be the King of the farm. One day after arguing, they rushed into a fierce fight, that whoever won would be the King of the farm. Fighting to the end, of course, there is a winner and a loser. The winning rooster jumped up the fence and crowed to celebrate his victory. Unexpectedly, because of that crowing sound, the falcon noticed and swooped down to catch the winning chicken. The loser chicken was still lying on the ground, breathing heavily.

6. The Singing Donkey

Photo: Dreamstime
Photo: Dreamstime

The Singing Donkey story is about a donkey that didn't like the food its owner gave it, so it decided to go to a nearby field to eat the grass it liked. One day, on the way to the field, the donkey met a fox and the two animals became friends. They go and find watermelon fields and eat together. The donkey ate a lot because the watermelon was so delicious and he excitedly told the fox that he wanted to sing. The new warning warns that if donkeys sing, people will know they are destroying their crops and will come and beat them to death. But the donkey did not listen to the fox's warning and still sang. Seeing the donkey singing, the fox quickly jumped over the fence and disappeared before the villagers ran to the donkey.

7. The Elves and the Shoemaker

Photo: Speak English
Photo: Speak English

There was once a shoemaker, who worked very hard and was very honest: but still he could not earn enough to live upon; and at last all he had in the world was gone, save just leather enough to make one pair of shoes.

Then he cut his leather out, all ready to make up the next day, meaning to rise early in the morning to his work. His conscience was clear and his heart light amidst all his troubles; so he went peaceably to bed, left all his cares to Heaven, and soon fell asleep. In the morning after he had said his prayers, he sat himself down to his work; when, to his great wonder, there stood the shoes all ready made, upon the table. The good man knew not what to say or think at such an odd thing happening. He looked at the workmanship; there was not one false stitch in the whole job; all was so neat and true, that it was quite a masterpiece.

The same day a customer came in, and the shoes suited him so well that he willingly paid a price higher than usual for them; and the poor shoemaker, with the money, bought leather enough to make two pairs more. In the evening he cut out the work, and went to bed early, that he might get up and begin betimes next day; but he was saved all the trouble, for when he got up in the morning the work was done ready to his hand. Soon in came buyers, who paid him handsomely for his goods, so that he bought leather enough for four pair more. He cut out the work again overnight and found it done in the morning, as before; and so it went on for some time: what was got ready in the evening was always done by daybreak, and the good man soon became thriving and well off again.

One evening, about Christmas-time, as he and his wife were sitting over the fire chatting together, he said to her, ‘I should like to sit up and watch tonight, that we may see who it is that comes and does my work for me.’ The wife liked the thought; so they left a light burning, and hid themselves in a corner of the room, behind a curtain that was hung up there, and watched what would happen.

As soon as it was midnight, there came in two little naked dwarfs; and they sat themselves upon the shoemaker’s bench, took up all the work that was cut out, and began to ply with their little fingers, stitching and rapping and tapping away at such a rate, that the shoemaker was all wonder, and could not take his eyes off them. And on they went, till the job was quite done, and the shoes stood ready for use upon the table. This was long before daybreak; and then they bustled away as quick as lightning.

The next day the wife said to the shoemaker. ‘These little wights have made us rich, and we ought to be thankful to them, and do them a good turn if we can. I am quite sorry to see them run about as they do; and indeed it is not very decent, for they have nothing upon their backs to keep off the cold. I’ll tell you what, I will make each of them a shirt, and a coat and waistcoat, and a pair of pantaloons into the bargain; and do you make each of them a little pair of shoes.’

The thought pleased the good cobbler very much; and one evening, when all the things were ready, they laid them on the table, instead of the work that they used to cut out, and then went and hid themselves, to watch what the little elves would do.

About midnight in they came, dancing and skipping, hopped round the room, and then went to sit down to their work as usual; but when they saw the clothes lying for them, they laughed and chuckled, and seemed mightily delighted.

Then they dressed themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and danced and capered and sprang about, as merry as could be; till at last they danced out at the door, and away over the green.

The good couple saw them no more; but everything went well with them from that time forward, as long as they lived.

8. The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

There was a king who had twelve beautiful daughters. They slept in twelve beds all in one room; and when they went to bed, the doors were shut and locked up; but every morning their shoes were found to be quite worn through as if they had been danced in all night; and yet nobody could find out how it happened, or where they had been.

Then the king made it known to all the land, that if any person could discover the secret, and find out where it was that the princesses danced in the night, he should have the one he liked best for his wife, and should be king after his death; but whoever tried and did not succeed, after three days and nights, should be put to death.

A king’s son soon came. He was well entertained, and in the evening was taken to the chamber next to the one where the princesses lay in their twelve beds. There he was to sit and watch where they went to dance; and, in order that nothing might pass without his hearing it, the door of his chamber was left open. But the king’s son soon fell asleep; and when he awoke in the morning he found that the princesses had all been dancing, for the soles of their shoes were full of holes. The same thing happened the second and third night: so the king ordered his head to be cut off. After him came several others; but they had all the same luck, and all lost their lives in the same manner.

Now it chanced that an old soldier, who had been wounded in battle and could fight no longer, passed through the country where this king reigned: and as he was travelling through a wood, he met an old woman, who asked him where he was going.

‘I hardly know where I am going, or what I had better do,’ said the soldier; ‘but I think I should like very well to find out where it is that the princesses dance, and then in time I might be a king.’

‘Well,’ said the old dame, ‘that is no very hard task: only take care not to drink any of the wine which one of the princesses will bring to you in the evening; and as soon as she leaves you pretend to be fast asleep.’

Then she gave him a cloak, and said,

‘As soon as you put that on you will become invisible, and you will then be able to follow the princesses wherever they go.’

When the soldier heard all this good counsel, he determined to try his luck: so he went to the king, and said he was willing to undertake the task.

He was as well received as the others had been, and the king ordered fine royal robes to be given him; and when the evening came he was led to the outer chamber. Just as he was going to lie down, the eldest of the princesses brought him a cup of wine; but the soldier threw it all away secretly, taking care not to drink a drop. Then he laid himself down on his bed, and in a little while began to snore very loud as if he was fast asleep.

When the twelve princesses heard this they laughed heartily; and the eldest said, ‘This fellow too might have done a wiser thing than lose his life in this way!’

Then they rose up and opened their drawers and boxes, and took out all their fine clothes, and dressed themselves at the glass, and skipped about as if they were eager to begin dancing.

But the youngest said,

‘I don’t know how it is, while you are so happy I feel very uneasy; I am sure some mischance will befall us.’

‘You simpleton,’ said the eldest, ‘you are always afraid; have you forgotten how many kings’ sons have already watched in vain? And as for this soldier, even if I had not given him his sleeping draught, he would have slept soundly enough.’

When they were all ready, they went and looked at the soldier; but he snored on, and did not stir hand or foot: so they thought they were quite safe; and the eldest went up to her own bed and clapped her hands, and the bed sank into the floor and a trap-door flew open. The soldier saw them going down through the trap-door one after another, the eldest leading the way; and thinking he had no time to lose, he jumped up, put on the cloak which the old woman had given him, and followed them; but in the middle of the stairs he trod on the gown of the youngest princess, and she cried out to her sisters,

‘All is not right; someone took hold of my gown.’

‘You silly creature!’ said the eldest, ‘it is nothing but a nail in the wall.’

Then down they all went, and at the bottom they found themselves in a most delightful grove of trees; and the leaves were all of silver, and glittered and sparkled beautifully.

The soldier wished to take away some token of the place; so he broke off a little branch, and there came a loud noise from the tree.

Then the youngest daughter said again,

‘I am sure all is not right—did not you hear that noise? That never happened before.’

But the eldest said,

‘It is only our princes, who are shouting for joy at our approach.’

Then they came to another grove of trees, where all the leaves were of gold; and afterwards to a third, where the leaves were all glittering diamonds. And the soldier broke a branch from each; and every time there was a loud noise, which made the youngest sister tremble with fear; but the eldest still said, it was only the princes, who were crying for joy. So they went on till they came to a great lake; and at the side of the lake there lay twelve little boats with twelve handsome princes in them, who seemed to be waiting there for the princesses.

One of the princesses went into each boat, and the soldier stepped into the same boat with the youngest. As they were rowing over the lake, the prince who was in the boat with the youngest princess and the soldier said,

‘I do not know why it is, but though I am rowing with all my might we do not get on so fast as usual, and I am quite tired: the boat seems very heavy today.’

‘It is only the heat of the weather,’ said the princess: ‘I feel it very warm too.’

On the other side of the lake stood a fine illuminated castle, from which came the merry music of horns and trumpets. There they all landed, and went into the castle, and each prince danced with his princess; and the soldier, who was all the time invisible, danced with them too; and when any of the princesses had a cup of wine set by her, he drank it all up, so that when she put the cup to her mouth it was empty. At this, too, the youngest sister was terribly frightened, but the eldest always silenced her.

They danced on till three o’clock in the morning, and then all their shoes were worn out, so that they were obliged to leave off. The princes rowed them back again over the lake (but this time the soldier placed himself in the boat with the eldest princess); and on the opposite shore they took leave of each other, the princesses promising to come again the next night.

When they came to the stairs, the soldier ran on before the princesses, and laid himself down; and as the twelve sisters slowly came up very much tired, they heard him snoring in his bed; so they said, ‘Now all is quite safe’; then they undressed themselves, put away their fine clothes, pulled off their shoes, and went to bed.

In the morning the soldier said nothing about what had happened, but determined to see more of this strange adventure, and went again the second and third night; and every thing happened just as before; the princesses danced each time till their shoes were worn to pieces, and then returned home. However, on the third night the soldier carried away one of the golden cups as a token of where he had been.

As soon as the time came when he was to declare the secret, he was taken before the king with the three branches and the golden cup; and the twelve princesses stood listening behind the door to hear what he would say. And when the king asked him,

‘Where do my twelve daughters dance at night?’

He answered,

‘With twelve princes in a castle under ground.’

And then he told the king all that had happened, and showed him the three branches and the golden cup which he had brought with him. Then the king called for the princesses, and asked them whether what the soldier said was true: and when they saw that they were discovered, and that it was of no use to deny what had happened, they confessed it all. And the king asked the soldier which of them he would choose for his wife; and he answered, ‘I am not very young, so I will have the eldest.

And they were married that very day, and the soldier was chosen to be the king’s heir.

9. Hansel and Gretel

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Hansel and Gretel lived on a mountain with their father and stepmother. Their father was a poor woodcutter. Due to poverty, the stepmother convinces the father to abandon Hansel and Gretel in the forest.

The little children panic on hearing her plan, and they gather small white pebbles to leave a trail so they can get back home. Once they are back, the stepmother convinces the woodcutter to abandon the children again. However this time they could not find pebbles but they leave a trail of tiny breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, wild animals in the woods eat away their trail of breadcrumbs. Hansel and Gretel are lost in the forest.

After struggling for a long time, Hansel and Gretel find a gingerbread house with sugar windows. The children get tempted and start eating the bread. The witch, who lives in the house, disguises as an old lady and invites the children into the house. With the gingerbread house, she attracts children and feeds them to fatten and eventually eat them.

Hansel is caged and Gretel is forced to become her servant. She begins the preparation to boil Hansel in a huge vessel and asks Gretel to ensure the oven is ready to bake. Gretel understands the intentions of the witch and tricks her to lock the witch in the oven. Hansel and Gretel take some jewels and stones from the house, and they leave for home to reunite with their father.

Finally, they reach their home and find out the stepmother is dead. Their father is happy to be reunited with his children and sells the precious stones to buy food stocks for the family.

10. Sleeping Beauty

Photo: Disney
Photo: Disney

When a queen gave birth to a little princess, angels were invited to give blessings to the infant. Some angels, who were not invited, get furious. And one vicious angel gives a curse that the little baby will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.

Queen gets upset upon hearing this and asks another angel to help the little princess. The fairy angel tries to reverse the curse with her magic wand and says the princess would not die but sleep for 100 years and only a prince can wake her up from the sleep.

When the princess turns 16, her finger is pricked at the spindle, and falls asleep. After almost 100 years, a charismatic prince hears the story of a beautiful princess who is sleeping in a castle. The prince visits the castle and meets the beautiful sleeping princess.

When they meet, she wakes up from the 100-year slumber. They instantly fall in love with each other and eventually get married.

Sleeping Beauty: Full Text Story, Video in English Version, Life Lessons

11. The Singing Bone

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Two brothers are sent to kill a wild boar infesting a kingdom. The younger brother gets a magic spear and kills the boar with no difficulty. The jealous older brother kills his sibling and buries him under a bridge, to claim the reward from the king – the hand of the princess.

Years later, a shepherd passes by the bridge, notices the bone and thinks it to be a mouth-piece. As he blows it, the bone sings thus:

“Ah, friend, thou blowest upon my bone!

Long have I lain beside the water;

My brother slew me for the boar,

And took for his wife the King’s young daughter.”

Shocked, the shepherd takes the bone to the king, who understands the meaning of the son. The wicked older brother is punished for his crime.

Top 20 Famous Akbar and Birbal Stories for your Kids with Interesting - Valuable Moral Top 20 Famous Akbar and Birbal Stories for your Kids with Interesting - Valuable Moral

12. The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Photo: Gigglebox
Photo: Gigglebox

There were once three Billy Goats who lived in a meadow at the foot of a mountain, and their last name was Gruff. There was the Big Billy Goat Gruff, and the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff, and the Little Billy Goat Gruff. They all three jumped about among the rocks in the meadow and ate what grass they could find, but it wasn’t very much.

One day the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff looked up at the high mountain overhead, and he thought to himself, “It looks as though there were a great deal of fine grass up on the mountain. I believe I’ll just run up there all by myself, without telling anyone, and eat so much grass and eat so much grass that I’ll grow to be as big as anybody.”

So off the Little Billy Goat Gruff started without telling his brothers a word about it. He ran along, tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap, until at last he came to a wide river, with a bridge over it.

Now the Little Billy Goat did not know it, but this bridge belonged to a great, terrible Troll, and the little goat had not gone more than half-way across when he heard the Troll shouting from under the bridge.

“Who’s that going across my bridge?” shouted the Troll in his great loud voice.

“It’s me, the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff!” answered the Little Billy Goat in his little bit of voice.

“Oh! it’s the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff, is it? Well, you won’t go much farther, for I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up.” And with that the Troll looked up over the edge of the bridge.

When the Little Billy Goat Gruff saw him, he was very much frightened. “Oh, dear, good Mr Troll, please don’t eat me up,” he cried. “I’m such a very little goat that I would scarcely be a mouthful for you. I have a brother who is a great deal bigger than I am; wait till he comes, for he’d make a much better meal for you than I would.”

“But if he’s much bigger than you are he may be tough.”

“Oh, no, he’s just as tender as I am.”

“And a great deal bigger?”

“Oh, yes, a great deal bigger.”

“Very well then, I’ll wait for him. Run along!”

So the little goat ran on, tip-tap! tip-tap! tip-tap! across the bridge, and on up the mountain to where he was safe. And glad enough he was to be out of that scrape, I can tell you.

Now it was not very long after this that the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff began to think he’d like to go up on the mountain too. He did not say anything about it to the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff, but off he set, all by himself—trap-trap! trap-trap! trap-trap! After a while he came to the bridge, where the Troll lived, and he stepped out upon it, trap-trap! trap-trap! trap-trap!

He’d barely reached the middle of it when the Troll began shouting at him in his great, terrible voice:

“Who’s that going across my bridge?”

“It’s me, the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff,” answered the Middle-sized Billy Goat in his middle-sized voice.

“Oh, it is, is it? Then you’re the very one I’ve been waiting for. I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up.”

At that the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff was in a great fright. “Oh, dear Mr Troll, good Mr Troll, please don’t eat me up! I have a brother that’s a great deal bigger than I am. Just wait till he comes along, for he’d make a much better meal for you than I would.”

“A great deal bigger?”

“Yes, a great deal bigger.”

“Very well then, run along and I’ll wait till he comes. Only the biggest goat there is is fit to make a meal for me.”

The Middle-sized Billy Goat was not slow to run along as the Troll bade him. He hurried across the river and up the mountain as fast as he could go, trappity-trap! trappity-trap! trappity-trap! And just weren’t he and his little brother glad to see each other again, and to be safely over the Troll’s bridge, and up where the good grass was!

And now it was the turn of the Big Billy Goat Gruff to begin to think he’d like to go up on the mountain too. “I believe that’s where the Little Billy Goat Gruff and the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff have gone,” said he to himself. “If I don’t look out they’ll be growing so fat up there that they’ll be as big as I am. I think I’d better go and eat the long green mountain grass too.” So the next morning off he set in the pleasant sunshine. Klumph-klumph! klumph-klumph! He was so big you could hear his hoofs pounding on the stones while he was still a mile away.

After a while he came to the bridge where the Troll lived, and out he stepped on it, klumph-klumph! klumph-klumph! and the bridge shook and bent under his weight as he walked. Then the Troll that lived under it was in a fearful rage. “Who’s that going across my bridge?” he bellowed, and his voice was so terrible that all the little fish in the river swam away and hid under the rocks at the sound of it.

But the Big Billy Goat was not one bit frightened.

“It’s me, the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff,” he answered, in a voice as big as the Troll’s own.

“Oh, it is, is it? Then just stop a bit—for you’re the one I’ve been waiting for. I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up!” and with that the great grey Troll poked his head up over the bridge, and his eyes looked like two great mill-wheels, and they were going round and round in his head with rage. But still the Big Billy Goat was not one bit frightened.

“So you’re a Troll, are you! And you own this bridge, do you? And now you’re going to eat me up? We’ll just see about that:

“I have a forehead as hard as stone,

And I’ll mash you all up, body and bone!”

When the Troll heard the Big Billy Goat talk to him that way he bellowed so that the Middle-sized Billy Goat and the Little Billy Goat heard him all the way up on the mountain where they were. He jumped up on the bridge and put down his big, bushy head and ran at the Billy Goat, and the Big Billy Goat put down his head and ran at the Troll, and they met in the middle of the bridge. But the Billy Goat’s head was harder than the Troll’s, so he knocked him down and thumped him about, and then he took him up on his horns and threw him over the edge of the bridge into the river below, and the Troll sank like a piece of lead and never was seen or heard of again.

But the Big Billy Goat went on up the mountain; and you may believe that his two brothers were glad to see him again, and to hear that the great wicked Troll was gone from under the bridge.

And after that they all stayed up on the mountain together, and the smaller goats ate so much grass and grew so fat and big that after a while no one could have told one Billy Goat from the other.

13. The Old Sultan

Photo: Fairy Tales and Old Stories For Kids
Photo: Fairy Tales and Old Stories For Kids

An old dog Sultan overhears the master planning to kill him as he is too old to be of use anymore. The dog tells his friend, the wolf, about the discussion. The wolf comes up with a plan that it will falsely attack his master’s child, and the dog can pretend to ‘rescue’ the boy.

The dog does as the wolf said and the farmer regrets his decision to kill him. He promises to take good care of Sultan.

The wolf asks Sultan a favor in return of its help. He tells Sultan to stay quiet when he steals a baby sheep. But the loyal Sultan refuses and barks hard. The wolf runs away but comes back with a wild boar next time. The old Sultan takes help of a limping cat.

The wolf and the boar see Sultan with the limping cat from a distance and mistake the cat to be a sword. They assume the dog is picking up stones, and hide in the forest afraid of an attack. When they realize that it is not a sword but just a cat, they feel ashamed of their cowardice and walk away into the forest.

14. The Giant Turnip

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

Once, not too long ago, an old man planted a turnip. The turnip grew, and grew, and grew some more until it was enormous. The old man started to pull the turnip out of the ground. He pulled and pulled, but it was just too big for one man alone. So he called his wife to help.

The old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled, but could not pull it out. The turnip was just too big. So the old woman called her granddaughter to help.

The granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled. But the turnip was just too big and they could not pull it out. So the granddaughter called the dog over to help.

The dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they all pulled and pulled. But still they could not pull the turnip out. So the dog called the cat over to help.

The cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled. It seemed impossible, but still they could not pull it out. So the cat called the mouse over to help.

The mouse took hold of the cat, the cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip. They all pulled and pulled, and pulled some more --and finally out came the turnip!

It took the help of the tiny mouse to finally pull out the turnip. The lesson is that there is value in even the smallest and least among us.

15. The Six Swans

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

A king has six boys and one girl. He hides them in the forest so no one can find them. However, the king’s second wife finds out about the six boys through witchcraft. The cruel queen sews six shirts and throws them on the boys.

The boys turn into swans. The girl continues to hide in the house as the queen does not know about her. The sister goes in search of her brothers and finds a hut which has six beds inside. She identifies her brothers and they are happy to be reunited.

To break the spell, the sister has to sew a shirt with star flowers but cannot talk or laugh while sewing. It takes six years for her to complete the shirts and make her brothers wear them. The six swans turn into humans and they all return to the castle.

16. The Glass Mountain

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

There was a glass mountain on which an apple tree grew. Anyone who picked the apple would be led into a castle where a beautiful princess lived. Many try but fail and get killed in the process. A knight in golden armor tries but could reach only half way.

In his next attempt, an eagle attacks him and he dies. Another young boy tries to go up but is attacked by a wildcat. He kills the wildcat and uses its claws to climb the mountain. When the eagle attacks the boy, he kills the eagle by playing tricks.

He picks the apple and is led to the castle where he marries the princess. All the previous young men, who were killed while trying to go up, turn alive when the dead eagle’s blood falls on them.

17. The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids

Photo: American Literature
Photo: American Literature

There was once upon a time an old goat who had seven little kids, and loved them with all the love of a mother for her children.

One day she wanted to go into the forest and fetch some food. So she called all seven to her and said:

‘Dear children, I have to go into the forest, be on your guard against the wolf; if he comes in, he will devour you all—skin, hair, and everything. The wretch often disguises himself, but you will know him at once by his rough voice and his black feet.’

The kids said: ‘Dear mother, we will take good care of ourselves; you may go away without any anxiety.’

Then the old one bleated, and went on her way with an easy mind.

It was not long before someone knocked at the house-door and called:

‘Open the door, dear children; your mother is here, and has brought something back with her for each of you.’

But the little kids knew that it was the wolf, by the rough voice.

‘We will not open the door,’ cried they, ‘you are not our mother. She has a soft, pleasant voice, but your voice is rough; you are the wolf!’

Then the wolf went away to a shopkeeper and bought himself a great lump of chalk, ate this and made his voice soft with it. Then he came back, knocked at the door of the house, and called:

‘Open the door, dear children, your mother is here and has brought something back with her for each of you.’

But the wolf had laid his black paws against the window, and the children saw them and cried:

‘We will not open the door, our mother has not black feet like you: you are the wolf!’

Then the wolf ran to a baker and said:

‘I have hurt my feet, rub some dough over them for me.’

And when the baker had rubbed his feet over, he ran to the miller and said:

‘Strew some white meal over my feet for me.’

The miller thought to himself: ‘The wolf wants to deceive someone,’ and refused; but the wolf said:

‘If you will not do it, I will devour you.’

Then the miller was afraid, and made his paws white for him. Truly, this is the way of mankind.

So now the wretch went for the third time to the house-door, knocked at it and said:

‘Open the door for me, children, your dear little mother has come home, and has brought every one of you something back from the forest with her.’

The little kids cried:

‘First show us your paws that we may know if you are our dear little mother.’

Then he put his paws in through the window and when the kids saw that they were white, they believed that all he said was true, and opened the door. But who should come in but the wolf!

They were terrified and wanted to hide themselves. One sprang under the table, the second into the bed, the third into the stove, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the cupboard, the sixth under the washing-bowl, and the seventh into the clock-case. But the wolf found them all, and used no great ceremony; one after the other he swallowed them down his throat. The youngest, who was in the clock-case, was the only one he did not find.

When the wolf had satisfied his appetite he took himself off, laid himself down under a tree in the green meadow outside, and began to sleep. Soon afterwards the old goat came home again from the forest. Ah! what a sight she saw there! The house-door stood wide open. The table, chairs, and benches were thrown down, the washing-bowl lay broken to pieces, and the quilts and pillows were pulled off the bed. She sought her children, but they were nowhere to be found. She called them one after another by name, but no one answered. At last, when she came to the youngest, a soft voice cried:

‘Dear mother, I am in the clock-case.’

She took the kid out, and it told her that the wolf had come and had eaten all the others. Then you may imagine how she wept over her poor children.

At length in her grief she went out, and the youngest kid ran with her. When they came to the meadow, there lay the wolf by the tree and snored so loud that the branches shook. She looked at him on every side and saw that something was moving and struggling in his gorged belly.

‘Ah, heavens,’ she said, ‘is it possible that my poor children whom he has swallowed down for his supper, can be still alive?’

Then the kid had to run home and fetch scissors, and a needle and thread, and the goat cut open the monster’s stomach, and hardly had she made one cut, than one little kid thrust its head out, and when she had cut farther, all six sprang out one after another, and were all still alive, and had suffered no injury whatever, for in his greediness the monster had swallowed them down whole.

What rejoicing there was! They embraced their dear mother, and jumped like a tailor at his wedding. The mother, however, said:

‘Now go and look for some big stones, and we will fill the wicked beast’s stomach with them while he is still asleep.’

Then the seven kids dragged the stones thither with all speed, and put as many of them into this stomach as they could get in; and the mother sewed him up again in the greatest haste, so that he was not aware of anything and never once stirred.

When the wolf at length had had his fill of sleep, he got on his legs, and as the stones in his stomach made him very thirsty, he wanted to go to a well to drink. But when he began to walk and to move about, the stones in his stomach knocked against each other and rattled. Then cried he:

‘What rumbles and tumbles

Against my poor bones?

I thought ‘twas six kids,

But it feels like big stones.’

And when he got to the well and stooped over the water to drink, the heavy stones made him fall in, and he drowned miserably.

When the seven kids saw that, they came running to the spot and cried aloud:

‘The wolf is dead! The wolf is dead!’ and danced for joy round about the well with their mother.

18. The Crystal Ball

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

A sorceress thought her three sons were out to steal her magic tricks and turns the oldest into an eagle and the second into a whale. They can take human form only for a couple of hours in a day.

The youngest one escapes from their house. He comes to know of a princess, who is bewitched and kept captive in a castle. He sets out to rescue her, and also free his brothers from the spell.

When he meets the princess in captivity, she tells him about a crystal ball and how it can be broken to free her. He follows all the instructions, fights the bull, frees a bird and eventually takes the crystal ball to an angel, who breaks the spell and the brothers are freed.

In the end, the crystal ball sets the princess free and the boy marries her.

19. The Bright Sun Brings It To Light

A tailor’s apprentice was traveling in search of work. On his way, he meets a Jew and assumes he must be carrying plenty of money. Out of poverty and desperation, he robs and murders the Jew. Before dying, the Jew says, “The bright sun will bring it to light.”

On traveling a little further, the apprentice meets a young and pretty girl and marries her. Years later, one fine morning while having his coffee, the sun shines brightly and reflects the circles made in the coffee on the wall. He remembers the words of the Jew and gasps heavily.

His worried wife asks the reason behind his fear. He tries hard to hide the truth but ultimately reveals it and asks her not to tell anybody. His wife is shocked and gossips about this incident to the other villagers. When everyone finds out about the incident they get him arrested and executed.

20. The Riddle

Photo: A Grimm project
Photo: A Grimm project

The princess of a kingdom announces that she will marry a person who asks her a riddle that she can’t answer. But if she answers, the suitor will be killed.

The princess answers the riddles and gets nine persons killed. Then a wandering prince hears about it and decides to try it.

He asks the princess, “One killed none, but still killed twelve?” “What is it?”

The princess fails but steals the answer from the prince when he is sleeping. The next day, she answers the question and sentences the prince to death. But he proves that the princess cheated him to get the answer to the riddle. Eventually, they get married.

21. Rumpelstiltskin

There was once upon a time a poor miller who had a very beautiful daughter. Now it happened one day that he had an audience with the King, and in order to appear a person of some importance he told him that he had a daughter who could spin straw into gold.

“Now that’s a talent worth having,” said the King to the miller. “If your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to my palace to-morrow, and I’ll put her to the test.”

When the girl was brought to him he led her into a room full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and spindle, and said: “Now set to work and spin all night till early dawn, and if by that time you haven’t spun the straw into gold you shall die.” Then he closed the door behind him and left her alone inside.

So the poor miller’s daughter sat down, and didn’t know what in the world she was to do. She hadn’t the least idea of how to spin straw into gold, and became at last so miserable that she began to cry.

Suddenly the door opened, and in stepped a tiny little man and said: “Good-evening, Miss Miller-maid; why are you crying so bitterly?”

“Oh!” answered the girl, “I have to spin straw into gold, and haven’t a notion how it’s done.”

“What will you give me if I spin it for you?” asked the manikin.

“My necklace,” replied the girl.

The little man took the necklace, sat himself down at the wheel, and whir, whir, whir, the wheel went round three times, and the bobbin was full. Then he put on another, and whir, whir, whir, the wheel went round three times, and the second too was full; and so it went on till the morning, when all the straw was spun away, and all the bobbins were full of gold.

As soon as the sun rose the King came, and when he perceived the gold he was astonished and delighted, but his heart only lusted more than ever after the precious metal. He had the miller’s daughter put into another room full of straw, much bigger than the first, and bade her, if she valued her life, spin it all into gold before the following morning.

The girl didn’t know what to do, and began to cry; then the door opened as before, and the tiny little man appeared and said: “What’ll you give me if I spin the straw into gold for you?”

“The ring from my finger,” answered the girl.

The manikin took the ring, and whir! round went the spinning-wheel again, and when morning broke he had spun all the straw into glittering gold.

The King was pleased beyond measure at the sights but his greed for gold was still not satisfied, and he had the miller’s daughter brought into a yet bigger room full of straw, and said: “You must spin all this away in the night; but if you succeed this time you shall become my wife.”

“She’s only a miller’s daughter, it’s true,” he thought; “but I couldn’t find a richer wife if I were to search the whole world over.”

When the girl was alone the little man appeared for the third time, and said: “What’ll you give me if I spin the straw for you once again?”

“I’ve nothing more to give,” answered the girl.

“Then promise me when you are Queen to give me your first child.”

“Who knows what may not happen before that?” thought the miller’s daughter; and besides, she saw no other way out of it, so she promised the manikin what he demanded, and he set to work once more and spun the straw into gold.

When the King came in the morning, and found everything as he had desired, he straightway made her his wife, and the miller’s daughter became a queen.

When a year had passed a beautiful son was born to her, and she thought no more of the little man, till all of a sudden one day he stepped into her room and said: “Now give me what you promised.”

The Queen was in a great state, and offered the little man all the riches in her kingdom if he would only leave her the child. But the manikin said: “No, a living creature is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world.”

Then the Queen began to cry and sob so bitterly that the little man was sorry for her, and said: “I’ll give you three days to guess my name, and if you find it out in that time you may keep your child.”

Then the Queen pondered the whole night over all the names she had ever heard, and sent a messenger to scour the land, and to pick up far and near any names he could come across. When the little man arrived on the following day she began with Kasper, Melchior, Belshazzar, and all the other names she knew, in a string, but at each one the manikin called out: “That’s not my name.”

The next day she sent to inquire the names of all the people in the neighborhood, and had a long list of the most uncommon and extraordinary for the little man when he made his appearance. “Is your name, perhaps, Sheepshanks Cruickshanks, Spindleshanks?” but he always replied: “That’s not my name.”

On the third day the messenger returned and announced: “I have not been able to find any new names, but as I came upon a high hill round the corner of the wood, where the foxes and hares bid each other good-night, I saw a little house, and in front of the house burned a fire, and round the fire sprang the most grotesque little man, hopping on one leg and crying:

“To-morrow I brew, to-day I bake,

And then the child away I’ll take;

For little deems my royal dame

That Rumpelstiltzkin is my name!”

You can imagine the Queen’s delight at hearing the name, and when the little man stepped in shortly afterward and asked: “Now, my lady Queen, what’s my name?” she asked first: “Is your name Conrad?”

“No.”

“Is your name Harry?”

“No.”

“Is your name perhaps, Rumpelstiltskin?”

“Some demon has told you that! some demon has told you that!” screamed the little man, and in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.

22. The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man, otherwise known as The Gingerbread Boy, first appeared in print in 1875 and has been a popular fairy tale ever since. The plot focusses on the escape of a gingerbread man, who jumps off a baking tray minutes before being put into the oven.

As he runs away, the gingerbread man famously chants, "Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread man" only to end up in the mouth of a fox who devours him piece by piece. The story has been adapted numerous times and has also been turned into a musical.

23. The Princess And The Pea

The Princess and the Pea was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1835. However, it was later revealed that Andersen had heard a similar story as a child and adapted it into what it is now known as today.

The story is centered around a young girl who claims to be a princess. In order to find out the truth, a young prince decides to test if she is telling the truth by putting a pea in the bed that she is offered for the night. Since its release, the fairytale has been extremely popular and in 1959, it was even made into a successful musical called Once Upon A Mattress.

24. Sweet Porridge

In a village, there lived a woman with her daughter. They were very poor and hungry. The poor daughter meets an old woman, who gives her a pot that can cook porridge. Whenever the girl says, “Little pot, cook,”it cooks up sweet porridge.

The mother and daughter have enough to fill their stomachs every day. One day the mother forgets how to stop cooking, and the whole village drowns in porridge. The little girl arrives and says, “Little pot, stop,”and saves the village.

Reading short stories or fairy tales to children and toddlers is a common bedtime routine in many homes. These fascinating and magical stories may spur their creativity and even cause them to have fantastic dreams. Moreover, whether it is the story of a kind-hearted girl named “Cindrella” or the tale of an elderly dog named “Sultan,” these tales have a lesson that will assist you in instilling good moral values in your children. So make this a part of your child’s bedtime routine and see the difference!

25. The Emperor's New Clothes

"The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish: Kejserens nye klæder) is a literary folktale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about a vain emperor who gets exposed before his subjects. The tale has been translated into over 100 languages

Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor's suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever.

26. Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Once upon a time three bears lived in a nice little house in a great forest.

There was the Father Bear, the Mother Bear, and the Baby Bear.

They had each a bed to sleep in, a chair to sit on, and a bowl and spoon for eating milk or honey, which was their favourite food.

One morning the three bears resolved on taking a walk before breakfast; but before they went out, they poured their warm milk into their basins, that it might get cool by the time they came back.

When the milk was poured out, the three bears set out for a walk.

Mr. and Mrs. Bear walked arm-in-arm, and Baby ran by their side.

“WHAT A FINE DAY IT IS!” growled Mr. Bear.

“What a fine day it is!” said Mrs. Bear.

“What a fine day!” squeaked little Bear.

And so it was.

The sun shone brightly though it was low in the sky, and its rays glittered on the fine webs on the grass. The leaves shivered in the soft breeze; the wood-pigeon cooed; the lark sang loud enough to make himself hoarse; the sparrows chirped; the bee buzzed, and a yellow butterfly perched on great Bear’s nose.

“What a squeaky noise these creatures make!” said big Bear, as he brushed off the butterfly. “What a pity it is they have not our deep voices.”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Bear; “you have a much finer voice than the lark. I should like to hear him growl as you do.”

“Oh, my dear, you are too kind; my growl is nothing to the lion’s.”

And thus conversing, the bears walked on.

Now there lived in the same forest a sweet little girl, who was called Goldilocks. She was the Woodman’s daughter, and her hair looked just like sunbeams. She knew every tree in the greenwood, and every flower in it. She loved the birds, and liked to listen to their song; and everything in the wood loved Goldilocks. The trees bent down their lower branches to touch her glittering head as she passed; the birds sang sweeter as she glided by. The lark’s song in the sky was—

“Come up, come up, Goldilocks; here is your happy home.”

“Coo, I love you; coo, I love you!” cooed the wood-pigeon, as she passed.

“Twit, twit, pretty child,” said the sparrow.

“Oh, you darling,” sang the blackbird; and Goldilocks laughed with glee, for she liked to be loved.

As to the butterflies, they flew after her, and rested on her hair, and tickled her cheeks; but she never tried to catch them.

She would not frighten or vex them for anything. She loved all the creatures, and that is why they loved her. Love makes love.

Dear little Goldilocks, she went on singing merrily through the greenwood, saying sometimes to herself—

“I wish I could sing as well as the lark!”

By-and-by Little Goldilocks reached the Bears’ house. She had never seen it before, and she wondered who lived there. A window was open, and Goldilocks peeped in.

“Dear me,” thought the child, “whose house can it be! There is a table and three chairs, and three basins of hot milk, all steaming, and nobody to drink it. But I don’t see any work or books, or anything else. I think I will go in and see who lives here.”

So she tapped at the door, and cried, “Is any one at home?”

But there was no answer. Then Goldilocks stepped in very carefully, and looked about her.

She could not see any one, nor hear anybody snoring, so she walked into the Bears’ parlour.

There was a fire, which made the room cheerful, and the hot milk looked very inviting; it quite seemed to say, “Come and have some breakfast;” and the early spring air had made Goldilocks rather cold, and very hungry; so she sat down by the fire in the little Bear’s chair. It was too small for her, but she did not quite sit down at first.

In a moment she got up again, and went round the table and tasted the milk in all the bowls. Little Bear’s was the nicest, because it had sugar in it, and Goldilocks thought it was good. So she took the bowl and sat down again in Little Bear’s chair, took his spoon, and ate up all his milk.

Now this was very wrong. A tiny bear is only a tiny bear; still, he has a right to keep his own things. But Goldilocks did not know any better. Unluckily, Baby Bear’s chair was, as we have said, too small for her; she broke the seat and fell through, basin and all.

Then Goldilocks went upstairs, and there she saw three beds all in a row. Goldilocks lay down on Father Bear’s bed first, but that was too long for her; then she lay down on Mother Bear’s bed, and that was too wide for her; last of all she lay down on Baby Bear’s bed, and there she fell asleep, for she was tired.

By-and-by the bears came home. Baby Bear saw that his chair was broken and thrown down, and he cried in a very squeaky voice

“Somebody has been here!”

And Father Bear growled

“SOMEBODY HAS BEEN HERE;”

And Mother Bear growled, more softly,

“Somebody has been here.”

Then they went to the table and looked at their breakfasts, and Father Bear growled, “WHO HAS TOUCHED MY BOWL?”

And Mother Bear growled, “Who has touched my bowl?”

And Tiny Bear squeaked, “Somebody has broken mine!”

And then Tiny Bear began to cry, for he was very fond of his own bowl and his own chair; and, besides, he was very hungry after his long walk in the forest.

It really did seem a shame. Then the three bears thought they would go over their house, to see who had been in it, and to try if they could find the thief.

Vintage illustration of Poppa bear looking in bedroom for Goldilocks and the Three Bears bedtime story

They went upstairs to their bedroom, which was over their other room, and as soon as they saw the tumbled beds Father Bear growled,

“WHO HAS BEEN LYING ON MY BED?”

And Mother Bear growled

“Who has been lying on my bed?”

And Tiny Bear squeaked out,

“Oh! here is a little girl in my bed; and it must be she who has eaten my breakfast and broken my chair.”

Then Father Bear growled,

“LET US EAT HER UP;”

And Mother Bear growled, “Let us eat her up;”

And Tiny Bear squeaked,

“Let us eat her up.”

The noise they made woke Goldilocks, and you may imagine how frightened she was when she saw the three bears. She started out of bed, and jumped at once out of the window.

The bears rushed after her, and Father Bear caught her golden hair in his teeth, but she left a lock behind, and still ran on. Then the three bears all jumped out after her, but they fell one on the top of the other and rolled over and over, and while they were picking themselves up, little Goldilocks ran home, and they were not able to catch her.

But I do not think she had acted rightly (though she did not deserve to be eaten up); it was very wrong to break little Bear’s chair and eat his milk, and I think Goldilocks will have to take great care to keep out of the reach of the Three Bears.

27. Jack And The Beanstalk

The British fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk, has been around since 1734 when it was first published as "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean." Over the years, the story has been adapted a number of times, however, the beanstalk has always remained at the center of the story. The plot focusses on Jack, a poor boy who lives with his mother and a dairy cow.

The cow is the family's only source of money, so when it eventually stops giving milk, Jack is ordered to sell it at the town market. On the way to town, Jack meets a bean dealer who offers Jack magic beans in return for the cow. Jack accepts, which then leads to a magical beanstalk, a giant and a whole host of fun and exciting things. Your kids will definitely love this classic fairy tale.

28. Puss In Boots

Cats are probably one of the most popular animals in the world, and what's better than a cat? A cat in boots of course. The character of Puss in Boots has been around since the 1500s, however, the stories have somewhat changed over the last few centuries. Nowadays, the most common version of Puss in Boots is the one that was recently seen in the box office hit, Shrek.

In fact, the Shrek version wasn't so far off, with the original Puss in Boots that of a deceitful anthropomorphic cat who tricks his way into marriage and he gets huge amounts of money.

29. The Three Little Pigs

"The Three Little Pigs" was included in The Nursery Rhymes of England (London and New York, c.1886), by James Halliwell-Phillipps. The story in its arguably best-known form appeared in English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs, first published on June 19, 1890, and crediting Halliwell as his source. The earliest published version of the story is from Dartmoor, Devon, England in 1853, and has three little pixies and a fox in place of the three pigs and a wolf. The first pixy had a wooden house:

"Let me in, let me in", said the fox.

”I won’t”, was the pixy's answer; ”and the door is fastened.”

The story begins with the title characters being sent out into the world by their mother, to "seek out their fortune". The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows it down and devours him. The second little pig builds a house of sticks, which the wolf also blows down, though with more blows and the second little pig is also devoured. Each exchange between wolf and pig features ringing proverbial phrases, namely:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin."

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

The third little pig builds a house of bricks, which the wolf fails to blow down. He then attempts to trick the pig out of the house by asking to meet him at several places at specific times, but he is outwitted each time since the pig gets to those places earlier than the wolf. Finally, the infuriated wolf resolves to come down the chimney, where upon the pig who owns the brick house lights a pot of water on the fireplace. The wolf falls in and fatally boiled, avenging the death of his brothers and after cooking the wolf, the pig proceeds to eat the meat for dinner.

30. The Ear of a Corn

In a village faraway, people were ungrateful towards God’s creation of hundred-fold ears of the corns. They ignored the beautiful creation and misused it. The angered Lord announces that the corn will no more have any ears.

People realize their mistake and seek mercy. Then the Lord agrees to bring back a few ears to the corn but not hundreds of them like the corn used to have in the past.

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